Deputy Ministry of Tourism to hire ‘Mystery Shoppers’

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To improve its tourism product, Cyprus is planning a call for tenders in February to hire a contracting company that will send out mystery shoppers to evaluate hotels without the prior knowledge of the establishment.

The Deputy Ministry of Tourism said it will be selecting a contractor to “provide services for the creation and implementation of an integrated system of quality assessment of hotel business services by conducting secret visits”.

The value of the contract is estimated at €300,000.

Mystery shopper evaluation cards will be based on specific criteria and a protocol to be agreed with the Tourism Ministry.

According to the preliminary documents published, the contract foresees inspections of 87 hotel units with 22,770 beds (six of which are five-star) in the Famagusta region and 37 hotel units with 4,850 beds (one of which is a five-star hotel) in Larnaca.

The contractor will also inspect 44 hotels with 10,615 beds in Limassol (of which eight are five-star), 30 hotels in Nicosia with a total of 2,980 beds (of which only one is five-star) and 61 hotels in Paphos with a total of 5,760 beds.

Mystery clients are to be trained individuals who will act as clients without revealing their true identity or purpose.

If a hotel is rated as ‘unsatisfactory’ in more than 15% of the criteria in each subcategory, then the business is subject to a downgrade.